two drifters carbon-negative rums

Rum is one of the world’s most popular spirits, often enjoyed by ‘old dog sailors’ and pirates! The drink was created in the 17th century in the Caribbean, made from sugarcane that’s crushed to extract the molasses. If you like gingerbread, you’ll like rum! The sugar is converted to alcohol to produce a high-alcohol spirit, so be sure to keep measures low, as it’s easy to get smashed on rum! Soldiers were once so fond of it, they were often paid in rum!

England has several artisan companies producing rum, so it’s good to support them. White rum is not aged as long as dark rum (which can take years to mature). Some brands are aged in oak barrels for depth of flavour. Most rum is vegan, to avoid filtering with bone char or isinglass (fish bladder) which are cheap methods used by big brands, to filter out impurities.

Two Drifters Rum is a carbon-neutral brand of rum from Exeter (Devon) that is hoping to soon capture 1% of the entire UK market. Based on an idea while working in Vancouver, this brand was created by a husband and wife who tasted rum on their first date and again on honeymoon.

His experience in capturing carbon led to them deciding to help remove carbon from the atmosphere, in conjunction with producing a good rum in sustainable packaging (compostable seals and labels). All offset the carbon from shipping molasses and farming sugar cane to make the rum. Waste molasses is sent to a local farm. The range includes:

  1. Signature rum (matured in French oak casks)
  2. White rum (vanilla, apple, white pepper & lime zest)
  3. Lightly spiced (vanilla, chai tea, toffee apple & clove)
  4. Rich and fruity rum (pineapple, salted caramel, crème brulee)

artisan spiced rum from Leicestershire

lazy dog spiced rum

Lazydog Rum (Leicestershire) is a brand of quality artisan rums, made in the heart of England. All bar the honey version is vegan-friendly.

The Signature Silver Rum has just 4 ingredients (molasses, water, yeast and time!) This award-winning drink forms the foundation for their other rums and has a clean refreshing taste with a buttery caramel aroma. Serve from the freezer over ice or with freshly-squeezed pineapple juice.

The Spiced rum features cloves, cinnamon, orange peel and vanilla, aged on oak for a rich taste. Serve neat over ice or with your favourite mixer. The pumpkin-spiced rum is infused with raw panela sugar, for a spicy autumn drink.

Sloe Rum is made with hand-picked sloe berries from within 2 miles, ideal over ice for winter days or serve from a hip flask.

a ‘pirate’s rum’ from the Isles of Scilly

SC Dogs rum

It may look like the Caribbean, but the Isles of Scilly is notorious for its shipwrecks (a lighthouse once even blew over before it was finished, and had to be rebuilt). It’s also got a strong history of pirates, so it’s no surprise that SC Dogs Distillery is a popular tipple here (all bar one is vegan – contains honey). The range includes:

  1. William Gibson Gold Rum is named after the son of a smuggler, who was also a farmer (and the land he worked still provides the ingredients).
  2. John Nance White Rum is named after a family ancestor who would row 100 nautical miles to France to bring back contraband rum!
  3. RNLI Sea Dogs Rum is made in honour of heroic lives that were lost in these treacherous seas. Distilled in small batches from local ingredients and aged in old whisky barrels, the lingering notes of peat produces a taste to savour, over ice. Each bottle raises money for water-safety initiatives.

‘Grog’ is another word for rum, linked to its history with pirates (simply robbers who work on ships, rather than on land). Back in the day when sailors would drink rum on board, pirates would loot anything they found and this included rum, which they also traded as currency. They would find coopers who would fill empty rum barrels with boiling water and roll them around to create a new drink called ‘grog’. Shiver me timbers!

organic spiced rum (from the Cornish coast)

loveday organic rum

Loveday Distilling offers a nice organic rum made with smoked figs, orange peel and ginger. Distilled in Cornwall, this is produced in small batches using slow-fermented organic molasses, ageing in oak ex-bourbon casks. Sold in bottles sealed with home-compostable tamper-proof seals made from seaweed. Sent in flexi-hex cardboard packaging.

This company was founded by two friends who used to work on the island of St Agnes in the Scilly Isles (a place synonmous with smugglers and rum!) It offers a refill scheme for wholesale stockists and single bottles returned by customers, and feeds leftover ‘dunder’ (from distilling the organic molasses to some very happy local pigs!

Gold Rum uses slow-ferment organic molasses distilled in oak for at least 2 years, with flavours of bergamot, vanilla, honeycomb, gingerbread, toasted pecan & smoke. Spiced Rum features notes of orange, clove, fig, muscovado, sweet spice & smoke.

an aged rum from the Hertfordshire countryside

Scratch rum Hertfordshire

Scratch Rum (Hertfordshire) is made on the Benington Park Estate, in the grounds of a house dating back to the 16 century. Set amid rolling countryside, the distillery helped to renovate an old stable block, which had fallen into disrepair. Choose from two House Rums:

Golden Rum is matured in new oak casks and rested in glass, with notes of caramel, cinnamon & toffee apples.  Faithful Rum is a white rum with notes of molasses, vanilla & cinnamon.

carbon-neutral artisan rums from Warwickshire

Jester rum

Shakespeare Distillery (Warwickshire) makes its own rums in an eco-friendly distillery (growing its own rosemary to make gin). The distillery was founded by a man who began making dry gin at home, in a small copper still. Inspired by a love of the Tudor period (this is the home of Shakespeare!), he has a PhD in Astrophysics, so creating gin was child’s play! The distillery packs everything in glass bottles, uses compostable tamper seals and has removed all plastic display windows on boxes. It also offers a local refill scheme, for discounts on returning empty bottles. The range includes:

  1. White rum combines sweet summer fruits with soft citrus notes, and molasses.
  2. Spiced rum combines fruits with sweet mace, cinnamon & warming cloves
  3. Cask-aged rum is aged for 30 months in ex-industry bourbon asks, with notes of sweet butterscotch, toffee apple and sweet cinnamon spice.
  4. Tropical rum combines the white rum with warming spices, pineapple & mango.

artisan rums from South Devon

Devon stormy rum

The Devon Rum Co hand-crafts its artisan rums in the sailing town of Salcombe on the South Coast. Sold in plastic-free packaging, this carbon-negative company blends traditional rum ingredients with soft Devon spring water, whole aromatic spices, fresh citrus zest and natural flavours. All bar the honey rum are vegan-friendly. The range includes the signature Premium Golden Rum (rich caramel, smoky oak, tobacco, ripe banana, butterscotch, toasted oak and fresh citrus zest), a Spiced Rum (charred orange peel, smooth caramel, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, citrus, maple syrup and peppercorn) and a Black Spiced Rum (blackstrap molasses, sweet cinnamon, orange zest, dark maple, spicy cardamom, allspice and fruity raisins).

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